Despite being a New Year’s taboo, we’re joining the millions of people across the globe in making a New Year’s resolution to get fit in 2018. But even though we technically have everything we need to succeed — we’ve prepaid for our gym pass, scored some cute new workout clothes for the holidays, and downloaded an upbeat workout playlist — getting over our gym anxiety and actually persuading ourselves to endure the judgement of gym culture is still a tough challenge to face. It turns out, this fear is more common that you may have thought; according to a brand new FitRated survey, more than half of Americans avoid the gym because of their anxiety or fear of judgment while working out.
Surveying 1,000 Americans to learn their gym habits and opinions, this new survey found that 65 percent of women and 36 percent of men avoid the gym because they feel anxious or fearful of being judged while working out. What’s even more shocking is that this number jumps to upwards of 75 percent for respondents who felt that they were less attractive, less in shape, or less experienced in a typical gym environment. The most common gym anxiety for both women and men was the fear that they were being judged for their weight, with almost 60 percent of respondents admitting that they felt that they were being judged about their size by other gym-goers. The second most common anxiety was improperly using the equipment (52.5 percent), followed by not looking fit enough (51.4 percent), improperly doing an exercise (49.2 percent), and their clothing choices (43.8 percent).
Unfortunately, this problem is a two-way street. Of the 1,000 people surveyed, one-third of respondents admitted to judging others while at the gym. While gym-goers felt most judged for their weight, the most common reason that people admitted to judging others was over other gym-goers’ clothing choices (47.3 percent), followed by their weight (39.9 percent), improperly using the equipment (35.2 percent), and taking a gym selfie (34.6 percent). Those who preferred anaerobic exercises like weightlifting were the most judgmental group, trailed by those who preferred aerobic exercises like running and cycling.
While taking up a solo heart-pumping activity like outdoor running or doing workouts in your living room are great stepping stones to help you feel more confident about your abilities in a safe and judgment-free zone, we’re making a promise this year to stop judging others in the gym. We all go to the gym to get healthy, so judging others on their current weight, what they’re wearing, or if they’re snapping a progress pic just doesn’t make sense. Let’s concentrate on making this our healthiest year to date and leave passing unnecessary judgment behind in 2017.
Do you have any tips to help manage gym anxiety? Tweet us by mentioning @BritandCo.
(Photos via Getty and FitRated)